SURPRISE! I found another article worth bringing back because wow, this thing was almost complete. But 2009? Ha, I should be doing 2011 if anything right now.
Write Date: December 15, 2009; Note: SO MANY GOOD GROUPS ARRIVED IN 2009! That is another reason I can’t let this go to waste. PLUS, it’s like a time capsule! Please note that these might not be my current opinions. Everyone has changed and grown so much since 2009 and they were all super rookies. I feel like a lot of these groups are the foundation of K-pop now and have gained a lot of strength as artists.
Girl groups of 2009
It would be easy to say I’m biased when it comes to YG artists simply for the fact that I do like them very much. However, I don’t think they are faultless. A few issues would be as follows: Their non-single songs tend to be bland and/or stale, their fashion choices err on the side of being too outlandish, and they’ve been bombarded with plagiarism accusations since Big Bang’s debut.
Buuuut. No one can deny the unbelievable quality of 2NE1. These girls have talent up the whazoo (it’s up to you to decide what that is!). They can sing, dance, and sweet talk a camera like nobody’s business. CL is a fierce woman and makes the group stand out from the crowd; deny it and you’ll be whomped by a team of pikachu. She has rapper swagger, excellent vocals, and looks that will hopefully cause the masses to reevaluate beauty (because she is gooorgeous). Now that I’ve properly worshipped 2NE1′s leader, I need to remind everyone that the group is finely rounded out by all of the other girls. Minji (I just typed “Minki” har har… Black Jack joke?) is only going to become a stronger performer as she gets older (if she’s this good at 15, what’s next?), and she’s already fantastic at singing, rapping, and dancing. She has room to grow, no mistaking, but I’ll forgive her that. Bom has finally debuted and she is wonderful. She gets too much crap for her looks (which I’ve come to love dearly; she is so cute)! Her voice is what makes her shine, and her personality is truly “6-dimensional” and that’s what will make you love her to death. Sandara/Dara is the weakest link of the group, but you can tell she’s improving as time goes by. I think of her as the group’s Seungri (don’t hurt me! We all know he’s grown so much vocally since debut). She provides the fun and laughter and life.
You all know I could go on all day (it’s sad, really), but I’m trying to bring myself back to objectivity. I think 2NE1′s acclaim in the past year is alone enough proof that this group is going places. Even with their first song (which was a collaboration, but still), “Lollipop,” was number one on the charts for a few weeks in a row. They have the “X” factor on and off the field. They bring it on stage, and then turn around and prove themselves human. Love it.
For me, 4minute is a balancing act. They seem step on and off that vague middle ground of “is it annoying or additively awesome?” When I first saw them debut, I was hesitant, but now I’m almost sold. In their first few months, the focus was OBNOXIOUSLY centered on HyunA, but thankfully their last release showed a shift away from that. I think 4minutes’ raps tend to be too whiny for my liking, but it’s bearable.
I like f(x) a lot; don’t mistake my upcoming words. It’s just that I feel they are kind of a lot overrated. They have everything it takes to be a group that makes it (and the definitely will), but I feel that they are getting too much praise and attention for things that most people don’t notice elsewhere. Krystal and Amber are getting a lot of notice from everyone; so much so that it’s as if the other members are nobodies. Whatever attention those girls aren’t getting is being diverted to Sulli, who is getting a huge reputation for “cuteness.” I don’t deny that Krystal and Amber are interesting individuals, nor do I believe that Sulli is “uncute,” but I feel that groups should have a balanced feel. I like Luna and Victoria a lot too, and it makes me cringe when they seem to slip in the shadow of their group-mates.
Their music is fun and catchy, but for all of Amber’s fame, she doesn’t impress me with her rapping. Sorry! I think the rest of the group sounds good (and I like Amber’s singing), but I can’t wait for the young ones to grow up enough so we can start hearing some more mature songs.
I’ve only recently even heard T-ara! I had some kind of running thing with myself where I would see how long I could go without hearing this group. It was silly, but I held off until November. When I heard “TTL” I kind of fell in love. I liked the vocals and the edge of these girls. Hyomin is fierce! I can’t say I’m super into “Lies” or their concept for that era, but it wasn’t a bad start either. Listening to their album has made me really excited for what’s to come for T-ara. They do have the whiny-raps thing going on, but it’s something I can deal with (as with 4minute). Songs like “Bo Peep Bo Peep” are so close to annoying me that they end up getting put on repeat. I’m really happy that they don’t just stay in that zone, though. They have a pretty good range of songs and they don’t get boring for me.
I think T-ara definitely has room for improvement, but they have the makings of something good. I have a feeling that they will stick around and not get lost among all of the other groups.
So saddd. I think this group was way too hyped. I haven’t even heard them, to be honest. I have no interest! Does anyone want to persuade me to try?
I was rather horrified by “Gossip Girl” initially, but like most mind-numbing songs, you have to come back to it. Still, it’s the kind of song I’d listen to in my closet, not proudly share with my friends. The group is too big and lacks the proper “oomph,” but they can at least boast of some okay songs on their mini-album when you move away from “Gossip Girl.” I feel like Rainbow could find their way in the industry if they became more unique. Right now they are so forgettable. I hate saying it, but it’s what I feel right now.
Guy groups of 2009
This group has taken me by surprise! I was ready to dislike them immensely, but instead I find myself watching from the sidelines. They haven’t become an obsession, but I like them enough to know all of their names and watch their live performances. This group will definitely make it. They remind me of 2PM in some way… there is just something about MBLAQ!
I really really want to like this group, but so far it hasn’t quite happened yet. I think I need them to get older and develop a better style simultaneously. Their music is okay, but I just can’t get into it. Crossing my fingers for future interest!
I think I heard a preview for their song a while back, but it’s lost in the recesses of my mind. It’s another group that you kind of know won’t make it, and when that happens I just have the need to look away. Is that mean? I feel like it’s more humane than anything… teasing, but I think you get my meaning.
Solo and miscellaneous artists of 2009 [that won't be discussed]
- Chung Lim